The guide for explorers of unusual sex

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Ayzad - The guide for explorers of unusual sex

Emotional training: BDSM as therapy

tancredimilitano

On this website I often write in a positive way about extreme eroticism. In fact, my experience and several international research works teach that recognizing and integrating our most “thorny” impulses through a culture of safety and respect for our partners do, plainly and simply, make us feel better. It doesn’t just allow us to discover new pleasures, but by removing many internal conflicts it erases just as many neurosis – this is after all psychology 101.
To go from this to affirming that BDSM can even be “therapeutic” requires a long jump – and this is why I was perplexed when I learned of someone, here in Milan, who was using domination dynamics for counseling. Of course I wanted to know more, so I met with Tancredi Militano, emotional trainer.

Militano is a biologist with a passion for neurobiology and NLP. He studied hypnotism and with a group of psychologists he developed a new singular approach to self healing. As a matter of fact we already met years ago, when he hanged out in the fetish and BDSM party scene «out of personal curiosity and to study it», as he is keen to point out. The invention of emotional training came from the encounter of his many interests. «For a while I worked as a nutrition expert and I clearly noticed how my clients’ emotional state affected their results much more than even the best diet I could give them» he says. «So working with psychologists we isolated those simple dynamics causing most problems.»
I spent the following half hour to listen to a rather traditional interpretation that can be summed up in a few sentences. «Many issues are just rage and frustration that our personal culture doesn’t allow us to vent off, so we unconsciously turn them into self-aggression. In turn, these emotions are the offspring of guilt and inferiority complexes, so my first job is to make you aware of these impulses.» The fastest way to identify them is by accessing the cognitive unconscious through light hypnosis techniques (and this would require a full article in itself), but the most innovative and interesting part is the following one. What do you do once the subject is aware of his own approach to life and to his most hidden desires?

Militano says that the most efficient take is to «give to our irrational part what it wants, thus “defusing” it. However society doesn’t accept extreme impulses, so you must change your personal cognitive schemes. What I do isn’t therapy, but suggesting a philosophy of life that allows to recover that instinctual-animal part of you castrated by social rules. To talk about it is the strategy used by psychoanalysis, requiring years and a professional therapist; the alternative is again to directly talk to your unconscious in his language, which is made of symbols.» And the symbols most fitting to the guilt and inferiority complexes mentioned above are those of domination… but not exactly in the way we usually talk about it here.
«BDSM is not a cure but a compensation» says the trainer. «To get rid of the conflicts messing up your unconscious you need to give your irrational part clear and concrete proofs, good for solving the internal clashes between your logical and your irrational part. In my sessions I role play with the clients archetypical gestures like “the whipping”, “the trampling” or “the kneeling”: to face the emotions arising from these actions immediately clarifies your internal irrational impulses.» My natural reaction is to ask whether there is a sexual side of this method. «Not sexual, nor extreme. Actually, the limit in my approach is how it loses its power if the subject is already familiar with those gestures, because they are experienced as normal and loaded with erotic meanings detracting from our goal.»

But what goal is it, in the end? «Learning to recognize, manage and channel your emotions without fear. Once you do this, a big part of your problems immediately vanishes.» Our long talk erased an equally big part of my prejudices, yet my expression was rather eloquent. «We could debate forever, but the best evidence is the number of satisfied clients of emotional training. In a sense my problem could be it works too well and a few sessions are enough to never require my help again… But their satisfaction has generated a word-of-mouth publicity – even among professionals – that keeps me way too busy anyway. If I wasn’t, we shouldn’t have waited today to meet, should we?»
As a matter of fact the interview was held on Easter day, the only one in which Militano was free from appointments. As I went back home in a deserted city, I struggled to came to conclusions. Everything I heard was logical and far removed from the new age nonsenses usually talked by alternative practicioners; at the same time, it is also a too simple and too radical departure from traditional approaches. Can it really be that psychology’s bon ton is the only obstacle to such an effective therapy? I too noticed many times the incredibly steadfast closed-mindedness of professionals towards extreme eroticism in every form, yet…
In the end I resigned: I am way too much into the BDSM scene to give an objective opinion. But it would have been a shame not to talk about this with you.

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BDSM - A guide for explorers of extreme eroticism

BDSM – A Guide for Explorers of Extreme Eroticism

The best-selling European manual and the most comprehensive book on the topic, now finally available in English!

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